Drought hits Saptari farmers hard


Lack of timely rainfall has rendered 93 per cent of paddy fields barren in Saptari.

According to District Agriculture Development Office, Saptari, paddy used to be planted in 70,000 hectare land, of which, 40,000 hectare had access to irrigation. However, this year, paddy has been planted in just over 6,000 hectare land till date.

Crop Protection Officer Bidhya Sagar Yadav said paddy plantation was delayed due to delay in canal water distribution.

“In case of insufficient rainfall, paddy will be planted in just 25 per cent of land with the help of irrigation this year,” said Yadav.

Paddy plantation is yet to begin in 90 per cent of the fields in Mauwaha, Belhi, Aurahi, Bhutahi, Tarahi, Pato, Arnaha, Rampur, Jamuwa, Haripur, Malhaniya, Bramhapur, Rayapur, Khadgapur, Manaraja among others VDCs. The drought has also affected Terhauta, Sitapur, Prasawani, Hariharpur, and Bakdhuwa.

The canal water distribution was delayed due to the pending repair work in the canal. Farmer Ramdev Yadav from Barahipur said grass had grown in his paddy filed for want of water.

He said he had been irrigating through a pumping set which was too expensive due to the cost of diesel.

Hareram Yadav, a farmer from Pakari VDC, said paddy saplings had started to wilt due to lack of rain. “We would have finished planting by now if it had rained. However, the entire field is barren.”